Saturday, February 20, 2010

Riddle of the Day

"Using these modifications a 13.5% reduction in energy is lost through the ceiling."

I wonder if some day I'll be the TA grading group reports like this and silently sobbing. Screw the silently part, I like to bitch out loud.

So close.

I woke up this morning convinced that I was going to go make myself a peanut butter and ground beef sandwich. Almost.

I need to graduate so I can sleep again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dinosaur troubles

Following my usual tradition, I drew a dinosaur on the midterm I wrote today. This time it was even almost relevant, because the test had a very open-ended "bonus question" and I figured dinosaur content would be appropriate. Apparently, I neglected to pay attention to the clock and the professor neglected to mention that the exam was over. I must have been writing into the start of the next class, because their professor came over to ask me if I was done (aka shoo me the hell out of there) and saw me drawing dinosaurs playing frisbee. Look, it was important, ok?

This is an interdisciplinary class and I'm not telling anyone that I'm a graduating engineer.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Engineer Writing

I understand that the point of review is to catch mistakes, and that written work is not perfect or even excellent in the first draft. I still think I'm entitled to a good laugh at some of the stuff I've been editing lately. All of these people are native English speakers who have presumably passed a few writing classes to get here.

"When the world is viewed as a finite world, the actions of places such as Canada and China will affect the rest of the world"
So if I just change my perspective, our actions will no longer influence the rest of the world...

"The solution to this, and a possible way to create sustainable development, as Hardin says, “a finite world can support only a finite population; therefore, population growth must eventually equal zero,” is to consider that population growth must be stopped."
The solution is that population growth must equal zero by population growth being stopped.

"The rational evaluation of one’s financial options to purifying or just disposing of the waste into the commons suggests that, as long as one had unrestricted access to the common, it is inevitable that one will always reach the conclusion that decontamination is not ‘worth’ it."
Using "one" instead of the pronoun that you really wanted to use is halfway to writing a formal report, but it sounds so terribly awkward.

"In an attempt to place a monetary value on environmental decisions, society has created legislation to impose temperance on acts like the disposal of waste products environmental regulations have been created."

"Which, as a result, limits one’s access to a previously unregulated common; this time on a basis of financial means using pecuniary methods to coerce the polluters to decided that it is ‘worth’ it."
Semicolons and a thesaurus do not a well-written report make. As a friend put it, "Your right to shift-F7 has been revoked."

"[...] due to result of each individual not understanding that sum of everyone’s wasteful contributions will have on entire finite world as a whole."
That word... it starts with t... 3 letters long... what is it again?

At least it's entertainingly bad.
I tend to veer off on tangents. Pick your tangent from the menu on the right.